Mini Tiramisus


Tiramisu would have to be one of my top three dessert choices – that bitter taste of the coffee contrasted with the sweet creaminess of the mascarpone. Sublime. And while I’ve already made what I think is the best Tiramisu recipe ever, I wanted to find a quicker, no-fuss version designed specifically for individual portions. I came across Delia Smith’s recipe – a light, mousse-like version with beaten egg white folded into the mascarpone. And, as I don’t need a second invitation to eat any version of Tiramisu, I thought I’d give it a try.

Well, it certainly was quick and easy to make and the result was creamy and luscious. I only made one small adjustment, adding in a teaspoon of vanilla extract which I felt was needed to round out the flavour (my brother and I also thought a bit of orange zest added to the yolk mixture, while not strictly traditional, would have been nice). Would I make it again? Absolutely.. though I’m not sure I’d use rum. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of hard liquor in my desserts and prefer the softer liqueurs like Kahlua or Bailey’s Irish Creme – they’re sweeter and more mellow. And, in Tiramisu I find they counteract the bitterness of the coffee really nicely. But that’s just me.. no-one else had a problem with it and it was scoffed pretty darn fast. A most enjoyable dessert.


Serves 6

Ingredients: (Click here for unit converter)

  • 3 large egg yolks, plus 2 large egg whites (free-range, organic)
  • 50g caster sugar (superfine)
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 24 savoiardi (lady fingers) – I only needed 12 biscuits
  • 150ml very strong espresso coffee
  • 3 Tbsp dark rum (or coffee liqueur)
  • 50g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa), grated
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder


  1. First put the egg yolks into a medium-sized bowl together with the sugar and beat with an electric hand whisk on high speed for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and pale.
  2. In a separate large bowl, stir the mascarpone to soften it, add the vanilla extract, then gradually beat in the egg yolk mixture, a third at a time. Between each addition, beat well until the mixture is smooth before adding more.
  3. Now wash and dry the beaters of the whisk, then in a third separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Now lightly fold this into the mascarpone mixture and then put the bowl to one side.
  4. Pour the coffee and rum into a shallow dish. Next, break the biscuits into a size that will fit easily into the bottom of the glass (Delia halved hers; I quartered mine), and dip them briefly into the coffee mixture, turning them over – they will absorb the liquid very quickly.
  5. Take your six glasses (they should be about 200ml capacity) and start layering the dessert. Start with 3 of the soaked sponge bits into each glass, followed by a tablespoon of mascarpone mixture, then a layer of grated chocolate.
  6. Repeat the whole process, putting 5 halves in next (I could only fit 3 halves), followed by the mascarpone, finishing with a layer of grated chocolate and a final dusting of cocoa powder.
  7. Cover the glasses with cling-film then chill in the refrigerator for several hours (preferably 24 hours for the flavours to amalgamate and the biscuits to soften) and serve straight from the fridge.

Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting


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